How to Get Paint Out of Clothes: Easy Solutions

There’s no denying that painting is a messy endeavor. Try one of these simple solutions the next time you notice a paint splotch on your clothing.

Not all paint is created equal

How to get paint out of clothes depends on a couple of factors. First, it depends on how quickly you notice the stain. If you notice the paint as soon as it hits your clothes, or while it is still mostly wet, you should scoop as much off as you can before it dries, and then use your favorite stain remover to remove the rest. While dry paint stains are a little more difficult to remove, there are a few household hacks you can try. As for how to get paint out of clothes, it depends on the type of paint. You’ll be able to choose the right solution if you know the type of paint you’re dealing with before you start scrubbing. Check out these simple ways to remove grease stains, too.

Dish detergent

When it comes to water-based, latex paint stains, such as those on walls or ceilings, dish detergent is your best bet. Warm water should be used to rinse the stained fabric first. Using a rag soaked with water and some dishwashing liquid, dab the stain. Rinse with warm water after letting the solution sit for a few minutes. Repeat this treatment as needed, then wash the garment in cold water. When the paint is still slightly wet, this method also works on acrylic paint, a glossy paint that craftspeople use on wood and canvas. The only thing to keep in mind before attempting this method is to make sure the clothing is color-safe; otherwise, it may run. Dawn dish soap’s magical properties are explained here.

Rubbing alcohol

Latex paint stains can also be removed with rubbing alcohol. This is a great solution to try right off the bat and is also a great one to try if dishwashing liquid does not work. Wet the stained spot with warm water to dampen it. After that, soak a cotton ball or toothbrush (that you’re done using) in rubbing alcohol and scrub it on the stain. Repeat the process as necessary by rinsing it with warm water. Using rubbing alcohol to remove acrylic paint stains is also a tried-and-true method. After treating the stain, wash the garment to remove the last traces of the stain and alcohol. Learn how to remove sweat stains from your clothes, too.

Acetone nail polish remover

Nail polish remover works similarly to rubbing alcohol on paint stains. A rag soaked in it and then blotted on the stain should help loosen most of the paint. It works best on latex paints. As soon as you have treated the stain, throw the garment in the wash. Make sure the fabric does not contain acetate or triacetate for this method. These fibers can be damaged by nail polish remover containing acetone. Learn how to remove more types of stains.


Hairspray is also an effective tool for getting paint out of clothes, especially if the stain is small. Spraying an aerosol hairspray on a stain can loosen lingering latex paint since many aerosol hairsprays contain alcohol. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the stain after spraying it until it is fully covered. As a result, the paint should be loosen up. The stain can also be removed by running warm water over it after you’ve scrubbed it, or by spritzing it with regular laundry stain remover. Throw it in the washing machine after that. By the way, here’s a quick guide to removing makeup from clothing.

Hand sanitizer

The alcohol in hand sanitizer can help loosen up a latex paint stain, just like hairspray. Cover the stain in hand sanitizer, scrub away with a toothbrush, and then wash the garment. For double stain-fighting power, you can also use hand sanitizer and hairspray together. Here’s a guide on how to remove paint from carpet if you get paint on it.

Salt, vinegar, and ammonia

These three household staples will help you remove paint from clothes. Combine one tablespoon of salt with two tablespoons of vinegar and two tablespoons of ammonia. Using a rag or old toothbrush soaked in the mixture, scrub the stain until it disappears. Add some more ammonia and vinegar to the salt, keeping the ratio of two parts ammonia to one part salt the same if the stain is large and stubborn. After soaking the stained garment several hours or overnight, scrub it again with a toothbrush. Discover more uses for household vinegar.

Laundry detergent

There are times when the simplest solution is the best. Try soaking a rag in liquid detergent and rubbing the stain with it if you’re dealing with acrylic paint. If you’re worried about the strength of the detergent, or you’re working with a more delicate fabric, mix the detergent with some water and apply that to the stain. The stain can be blotted and rubbed as necessary. According to, this method works well on spray paint as well. Before rinsing, soak the stain in the detergent thoroughly. Discover the old-school cleaning tricks everyone forgets.

Lavender essential oil

Another easy way to remove small latex paint stains. Drop five to seven drops of lavender essential oil on the stain and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Scrape off as much of the loose paint as you can with an upside-down spoon or a butter knife after the oil has soaked in. You can repeat the process as needed or try one of the other methods if none of the paint comes off. Learn how to remove blood stains using common household items.


Due to its durable oil base, oil paint is the most difficult type of paint to remove from clothing. As a result of its base, it stands up well to wear and tear, making it a good choice for painting trim or outdoor paint jobs. Oil paint stains are difficult to remove, but they are not impossible. You may have to break out some stronger substances to remove oil paint from clothes if other methods don’t work. Oil paint can be thinned with turpentine if you don’t have paint thinner on hand. Start by placing the garment on a stack of paper towels, stain down. Replace the paper towels as needed to thin out the stain. Paint thinner and turpentine both have pretty strong odors, so you might want to do this outside. Wash it normally after removing most of the stain with stain remover or a mix of water and dish detergent, for good measure. Here are some tips for cleaning tricky household items.

Duct tape

Duct tape is said to fix everything, and it really has an incredible range of uses. Sure enough, one of them is removing paint from clothing. It works best on completely dry latex paint. Try scraping some of the paint off with a butter knife, an old toothbrush, or an emery board without wetting the fabric first. Take a piece of duct tape and use the sticky side to pry up as much paint as you can. Lift the tape firmly from the stain. Next, learn how to get blood out of clothes, as well as how to remove ink stains.

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